The Boko Haram sect in Nigeria has warned the chairman of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) Elias Mbam to stop plans by the commission to increase the salaries and allowances of Nigerian legislators.
The sect in a report by NEXT said it has been monitoring Mr Mbam’s statements over the past days and it seems he is bent on this agenda, when millions of Nigerians wallow in abject poverty and deprivation and states governments cannot even pay the N18,000 minimum salaries.
The NEXT claimed that the statement was posted on the fundamentalists’’ website, where Boko Haram vowed to place a “Fatwa” on the RMAFC boss if he does not review downwards the salaries and allowances of both state and federal lawmakers with immediate effect.
A source close to the Commission told the Economic Confidential that it was not true the allegation that the agency is working towards upward review of salaries and allowances of political office holders in the country. The source said: “We are more concerned about fashioning out fair and just revenue allocation formula as well as devising strategies for diversification of the economy from mono-products where each state could boost its internally generated revenue independently from other means.”
While some Federal Commissioners and staffs of the agency expressed concerns over the reported threat, one of the commissioners told the Economic Confidential that “we only hope the media would not engage in sensationalising sensitive national issues that could give room for ulterior motives. We never met nor contemplated an upward review of anyone’s salary or allowance.”
The NEXT further quoted Boko Haram’s statement saying that: “The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi had last year declared that lawmakers consume 25 percent of Nigeria’s overhead budget and Professor Itse Sagay (SAN), a constitutional lawyer also said that lawmakers were receiving scandalous wages and allowances, especially legislators, serving ministers, public appointees, among others – a development, he argued, was a cause for concern.”
“It is very regrettable, especially when you compare their pay with the state of the Nigerian economy, the living standards of those they represent, life expectancy in Nigeria, the per capita income and the salaries paid to the Nigerian workers, Nigerian professors. It is even more unfortunate when you recall that the United States President, Barack Obama’s salary is $400,000 per annum, while a Nigerian senator collects N48million per quarter, $1.7m per annum, and each member of the House of Representatives receives $1.2million per annum.”
“If we take into consideration the fact that 1,152 members of the state legislators earn a minimum of N50billion a year (N5.1 billion in salaries, and N35.9 billion in allowances); 8,692 members of the local legislatures in the 774 local government areas in Nigeria earn N342.9 billion a year (N25.9 billion in salaries, and N317 billion in allowances), and less than 500 federal legislators earn N60.4 billion a year (N6.2 billion in salaries, and N54.2 billion in allowances), we can see that just 10,308 Nigerians (legislators at the three tiers of government) earn a total of N453.3 billion, which is an average of N43,975,553 a year”
“Think of what three billion US dollars, invested annually in infrastructural development can achieve for our nation! They keep feeding us with information such as we need $100 billion to generate 40,000 mega watts of electricity, just to show us that government is impotent as far as generating electricity is concerned.”